The Canon XL1S offers many on-camera enhancements that help avoid common shooting errors and make capturing high-quality footage trouble-free. The shooting enhancements also include basic conventional features that are commonly found on broadcast camcorders.
SMPTE Color Bars - NTSC, EBU Color Bar - PAL
Color Bars are an electronically generated video pattern consisting of eight equal-width colors, used to establish a proper color reference before recording and playback and for adjustment purposes. Using a lead - in of Color Bars (between 10-60 seconds) has become a de facto standard in professional film and video circles.
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) Color Bars are the engineering standard used for NTSC production. The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) has set their own standard for Color Bars that is used within PAL protocols.
The XL1S can generate Color Bars on tape prior to shooting allowing for fast hand-off to the professional broadcast and/or film post-production environment. It can also be used during shooting to allow the adjustment of reference monitors.
The XL1S has two power saving mechanisms built in to reserve power and protect the tape transport.
Normal Standby is activated by pressing the "Standby" button on the camera body. This shuts the power down to the camera and VCR sections while maintaining the cameras settings.
Power Save will automatically switch the VCR to standby mode from the "record pause" mode after staying in any shooting mode for more than 5 minutes. This will keep the camera section live for monitoring or for setting up a shot. You can activate this mode at any time by programming this function in one of the custom keys.
Top Grip with Recording Control
The XL1S camera body was designed for diversity and control. Standard record control devices are accessible from a side grip perspective, as well as from a top grip hold. Top grip controls include stop, start, zoom controls, and photo shot snapping. Using the top grip allows for lower angle shooting, tighter camera locations and enhanced flexibility. There is also a LOCK lever that prevents accidental use of the top grip controls.
Variable Zoom Speed
The Canon XL1S offers several methods by which to zoom into or out of a scene. The Top Grip Zoom offers zoom rates that can be manually set to create a low, medium, or high rate of zoom. The Side Grip Zoom can be set for either variable or low/medium/high zoom. Zoom can also be controlled by the lens zoom ring.
CHAR REC: Option to Superimpose data into video
Character Record is a new feature that allows for the superimposition of meta data - month, day, hour, minute and second - permanently burned on to the video. This is ideal for surveillance and law enforcement use.
Index Write allows for in camera tagging in the sub-code section of the data code to indicate a shot that is good - or that deserves post-production attention.
The XL1S has a zebra pattern feature that, when activated via the camera menu, shows black and white diagonal stripes over any area that is overexposed. The zebra pattern is only displayed in the viewfinder. Use this feature to guide the adjustment of the aperture and shutter speed. The zebra pattern settings that are available in the XL1S are: 80 IRE, 85 IRE, 90 IRE, 95 IRE, and 100 IRE.
EVF Display ON/OFF
The XL1S allows you to see the camera data and settings via the viewfinder. The amount of information shown in the viewfinder can be set for: Full Display, Partial Display or No Display.